Werewolves, Rock'n Roll, and Shaolin... Oh My.

Author: Tenhawk <tenhawk[at]gmail.com>

Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... none of which are me. If they knew what they were doing I wouldn't have to write this stuff.

Summary: Oz leaves Sunnydale after the Verucca incident in search of a way to control his inner wolf.

Warning: Crossovers ahead. (Yes Plural.)

Rating: PG-13 to PG-16; for mild cursing, violence, and demonic horror content... in other words a bit more grown up then the series... but only cause I don't have to suck up to censors.

Oz shivered as he turned the van out of Sunnydale. It wasn't cold, but he felt like he was leaving part of himself behind. Part of his life, part of his soul.

He shook the feeling off and put the accelerator down, trying to put some distance between himself and the Hellmouth. It was funny actually, he hadn't ever considered leaving for long before. Even in his dreams of music stardom he hadn't thought much beyond Sunnydale, and now he was pushing his old van hard in an attempt to put as much distance between him and the little town of horrors as he could.

<Willow.> And that was it, he thought. The big 'it'. He had to get as far away from her as possible before one of two things happened.

First he might hurt her again. Maybe worse. And second... if he didn't get away, and fast... he wouldn't be able to leave her. Ever.

Oz stayed characteristically silent as he drove, something that wouldn't have been unusual even if there had been someone aboard for him to talk to.

You are now leaving Sunnydale.

He didn't spare the sign a glance as he roared past it out of town. He kept his mind on the task. Before he had left he had spoken with Giles, his only real connection to the magical community, and gotten a lead on someone who might be able to help.

Unfortunately it meant a long drive. A very long drive.

Oz sighed and turned the Van North East.

The Blackout

It was just after noon when Oz pulled the van into the lot and looked around. A slight bang from the engine of the van was enough to tell him that it wasn't going to last much longer. A few days, a couple hundred miles, Oz shrugged the thought off and looked at the building in front of him.

The sign said closed, but his friend Devon said that there was usually someone inside this time of day. He got out, and walked over to the building.

He opened the door and went in, inside he looked around calmly.


No answer immediately. He waited.

A short moment later a woman came out, "Yes? Can I help you?"

"I was told that you might be looking for musicians?"

The woman looked at him skeptically, she got all types in here. "What can you do?"


She nodded, "Tell you what, get your gear and come back in a couple hours. I have a friend who handles that stuff now."

"Cool." Oz nodded and turned away.

She watched as he left, then shook her head. <Musicians. They're all nuts.>

Oz didn't bother leaving the parking lot. He didn't have anywhere to go. He unrolled a sleeping bag and curled up in the back.

He tried not to think about the audition, even though he sorely needed the cash. Worrying wasn't something he did. It didn't help anything anyway, so he closed his eyes and visualized giving the performance of his life in a couple hours.

He was asleep in a few moments, soothing tunes echoing through his mind as dreams took his mind.

Oz jumped. Or he tried to, but was seriously hampered by the fact that he was wrapped up in a sleeping bag at the time. He actually snarled slightly before he woke up completely and stopped struggling against the confining material.

Then he lay very quiet, listening for what had caused him to awaken.

<There...> He tensed. It was a sound he had become familiar with over the last few months. A fight.

He slipped out of the sleeping bag and crept to the front of the van. Outside he could clearly see the combatants.

"You're a real sick fuck, you know that!?"

The intended victim of the insult shrugged it off. He had heard worse.

The four gang members didn't like being ignored.

"Hey! Dumb Fuck!" The leader grabbed the smaller man by his shoulder and spun him around. "I ain't finished with you!"

The man looked at them calmly, almost eerily calm. "Don't touch me."

"Why? What cha gonna do about it?"

The man smiled, "I'll get mad. You won't like me mad."

The three gang bangers laughed, and the leader mocked shivered. "You're scaring me man..."

The man smiled.

Two of the gang bangers did look a little nervous, the punk wasn't supposed to be so calm. He was supposed to be shaking.

The leader, on the other hand, hadn't noticed. "You're real sick, man. Dressing up like a dead rocker, even getting your face changed... that's real sick!"

Eric Draven shrugged.

The gang leader growled, incensed at how little affect his words were having. He charged at Draven.

Oz paused in mid step. He had decided to step in and try to even things out, but as soon as he got within a dozen steps he knew something was wrong. The smell was off.

<Not human.> Was the automatic conclusion his wolf side told him. He could feel the hackles rising on the back of his neck. Almost as bad as when he caught the smell of a vampire.

Picking out the source took another few seconds, and by that time it was obvious.

Draven sidestepped, and chopped the banger across the back of the neck. He dropped like a ton of bricks and didn't even try to get up.

Draven was relieved. He didn't want to change. didn't want to bring... it... out. He was turning back to the other two when he staggered under a blow from behind.

Oz growled low in his throat. The two remaining bangers had attacked from behind, he didn't like that. He surged forward to help the victim, even though his wolf side growled to let it go.

He got halfway there when things changed again.

The Crow came up fast, spinning as his foot flashed out in a blinding kick that swept the feet from under both bangers. He slowly rose to his feet, his face white and black in its eerie mockery of a clown's makeup.

"I told you... you wouldn't like me... mad."

The two bangers on the ground scrambled back, "Stay away from us you... you freak!"

"Freaks of the world... unite." The Crow smiled as he stalked closer to the two terrified bangers. He paused in mild surprise as someone stepped between them.

He looked the boy over. Young. Calm. Too Calm. As if he knew something.

The Crow tilted his head in curiosity, looking at the boy. "And you are?"

"And you are?"

Oz shrugged. "Oz."

Draven laughed, "As in the wizard of?"

The boy seemed to smile slightly, but he couldn't tell for certain. "Something like that."

"Get out of my way."

The boy shook his head. "Not gonna happen."

The Crow wanted to take the kid down, but Draven was curious. "Why?"

The kid glanced over his shoulder to where the two bangers were scrambling away and shrugged, "Don't want you to hurt 'em. You scared em enough."

Draven chuckled. The Crow was melting away. "I wasn't going to injure them permanently."


Draven shook his head, his long black hair falling across his face. When he lifted his face again, the mask of the Crow was gone and only he remained.

"The name's Draven," Eric held out his hand, "Eric Draven."

"The name's Draven, Eric Draven."

Oz raised an eyebrow, but accepted the hand. "I've heard of you."

Draven nodded.

"You're dead."

Eric smiled. "I am."

Oz nodded. Dead. That explained the smell. <Not a vampire though... 'game face' is different.>

Oz considered it briefly, but decided that he was hardly one to judge someone else on their... unique problems. "Cool."


"I see you two have already met."

Draven and Oz looked at each other on confusion.



She looked at them in confusion, "Eric, this is the guy I want you to audition."

Eric looked over at Oz, "You're a musician?"

Oz nodded.

"Let's see your stuff." Eric smiled.

Oz looked at him, "You bet."

Eric and Tracy nodded, smiling as the tunes from the stage quavered through the room.

"He's pretty good."

Draven nodded. "Not bad."

Tracy just raised an eyebrow, but didn't reply.

Oz ran through her repertoire, his hands sliding over the strings as the music flowed through him. Inwardly he was reveling in the vibrations, his mind screaming to the tune he was belting out. Outwardly he may as well have been reading the phone book.

"SO what do you think?"

Draven didn't answer right away. When he did he spoke slowly. "There's something off about this guy..."

Tracy raised her eyebrow lightly, "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing." Draven said, "Give him the gig. He's good enough... I'll keep an eye on him."

Tracy shrugged and nodded, "Alright."

She got up and walked over to the stage, "Hey, Oz!"

Oz lowered the guitar, the fading chords echoing off the walls around him. "Yeah?"

"You got the gig. How long are you in town?"

Oz shrugged, "Couple weeks?"

She nodded, "Fine. Be back tonight, we'll start you out at eight."

Oz nodded. "Cool. Thanks."

That Night
The Blackout

Oz wrapped up the set, and suppressed the urge to grin like a maniac as the crowd applauded him. It was addictive, the cheers and the claps. Then he suddenly lost the urge to smile.

It didn't mean anything without someone to share it with. Or, at least, it didn't mean as much.



He turned around to see Eric looking at him oddly.

"You ok?"


"You looked a million miles away for a moment."

Oz shook his head, "Only a couple thousand."

Eric stared at him intently, "Someone?"

Oz nodded.

"I know how that goes."

The two young men looked at each other, a feeling of melancholy almost tangible between them. A feeling completely at odds with the laughing and cheering that was coming from the nightclub around them.

Finally Eric broke the silence, "Look, man. You did a good job tonight. Head out, relax. I'll see you tomorrow."

Oz nodded. "Thanks."

"No prob."

Oz stepped out of the Blackout and paused to stretch and take a deep breath. He paused in mid breath and looked around. He sniffed the air a couple times, uncertainly looking around. Then he walked slowly toward the alley behind the club.

Draven frowned. He wasn't sure what was going on, but Oz was up to something. He sank into the shadows and followed the young musician as he walked behind the club. <What are you up to?>

There were two of them.


<Thank god.> Oz thought to himself, if there had been more then he would be in pretty deep trouble. Well, their victims would have been anyway. His own healing abilities would probably keep him alive, though he'd never tested them to that extreme before. Still, only two... He should be able to handle it.

Oz' hands dipped under his coat and he drew out a stake and cross. Lessons learned on the Hellmouth died hard, and he never played a gig anymore without being prepared for the worst.

<What the hell?> Draven followed the musician slowly, still not sure what he was seeing.

Oz seemed to be sneaking up on a pair of toughs that were roughing up some poor clubber. <No... make that two clubbers. Guy and his girl. Almost missed her.>

Eric blinked when Oz pulled a pair of somthings from his pocket, but couldn't get a good look at them until the musician half turned to look around. <Was that a cross?>

"Back off." The man's voice was firm, he was used to dealing with trouble.

The two looming figures just laughed. They weren't impressed.

"Don't be like that, Pal." One of them said mockingly as he leered at the guy's date. "We just want a... taste."

The man interposed himself between the two and his girl. "I said back off. Now."

The second vampire nudged his friend, "Oooh, we got ourselves a tough guy."

The first nodded, and slammed his fist into an open hand. "Yeah. You remember what we did to the last tough guy?"

The second laughed openly. "*I* Was the last tough guy."


The two vamped out and stalked closer to their victims.

The girl's scream covered over the guy's curse as the two powerful figures grappled with him and pulled him to the ground.

<Stealth time is over.> Oz thought to himself as he threw himself at the two vampires. <One shot free... that's all I've got.>

He made the most of it, driving the wooden stake through the back of the largest vampire. Unfortunately the thing twisted away from the source of pain before it dusted, ripping the stake from Oz' hands. Oz groaned as the wooden implement was rendered into dust by the vampires death.


The other vampire jerked away from it's victim and stared at the small guitarist in shock. "You killed Freddie."

Oz shrugged, "Guess so."

"You're gonna pay for that."


The Vampire charged him.

Draven rushed forward, reacting fast as he tried to process what he was seeing. <What happened to that guy!?>

As the second guy charged the young guitarist, Draven saw Oz lift his left hand and put it between himself and the... <What the hell is that!?>

"Ahhh!" The vampire recoiled form the cross. "Get that thing out of my face!"

"Ummm..." Oz seemed to consider, "no."

Oz moved around quickly, getting between the vampire and the two cowering victims. "You ok?"

The guy was groggy, definitely out of it. The girl was hysterical, holding her boyfriend tight and rocking him. Neither answered. Oz didn't force the issue, he turned his attention back to the vampire.

"Back off." Oz repeated the warning the victim had given the vampire earlier.

"Ohhh..." The vampire mock shook. "I'm shaking in my boots. You got nothing more original?"

Oz shrugged, "Witty banter isn't my department."

Then Oz's eyes widened in surprise as he looked behind the vampire.

"Witty banter isn't my department."

Eric dropped from a fire escape behind the... thing... that Oz was facing. His face white as a ghost. "Mind if I give it a try?"

Oz shrugged, "be my guest."

The Vampire turned in shock, "What the hell are you?"

"Hell? You want hell? I'll show you hell."

The vampire stumbled back as the white faced form approached. Slowly. Resolutely. Implacably. And, deep in what passed for the vampire's Soul, a shiver of fear was born as some ancient instinct was awakened.

The Vampire backed away from the white faced freak that stalked toward him, moving on an angle away from the cross held by the young man behind him. When his back hit the wall his sudden irrational terror converted to rage and, like a cornered rat, he snarled and charged.

His motion took Draven by surprise, and the vampire managed tag him solidly across the jaw and drag him to the ground. Eric was surprised by the speed and strength of the creature, it was almost as fast as he was, and stronger by far.

The two of them sprawled to the ground and the vampire snarled again and buried his teeth into the Crow's neck.

Oz surged forward when he saw the vamp sink it's teeth into Eric, held the wooden cross like a stake and prepared to drive it into the thing's back when, suddenly, the vampire jumped up in shock and spit on the ground.

A black dust was drifting from it's mouth.

"What in the holy hell are you!?" The vampire glared at the Crow in outrage.

Draven seemed to float to his feet, a dancers grace enveloping his every movement. "I am your death. I am your judgment."

The vampire backed away, still spitting out black dust. "Stay away from me you freak!"

Eric strode confidently toward the thing. The vampire, he now knew. His mind still flashed on the horrors he saw when the thing sank its teeth into him. "From one freak to another... have I got a gift for you."

The Crow lunged forward, his hands outstretched. Before the vampire could react the Crow had locked his hands around the creatures head and was staring into it's eyes.

"Pain." Draven said, "Such a sweet justice it can be. Here is the pain, the fear, the sheer combined terror of all your victims. Enjoy."

The vampire screamed in terror as it was overwhelmed by a sudden deluge of agony and terror. Images, sensations, feelings, and thoughts poured into his mind as the white faced monster continued to glare into his eyes.


The Vampire's legs gave out, it dropped to its knees in anguish. It looked up at the Crow. "Kill me."

Draven shook his head. "That is not my place."

The vampire watched in desperation as the figure pivoted on its heel and swept away.

It continued to watch for a few seconds until the pain pushed to move again. It staggered to a wooden box that was lying in the ally. One sweep of its feet and it had a jagged stake. It closed its eyes, dropped to it's knees, and screamed as it drove the jagged piece of wood into it's own heart.

The scream was cut of as a column of dust slowly drifted to the ground.

Oz stared in shock as the vampire actually dusted itself. "What did you do to him?"

Eric, or whatever he was when his face shifted, stared at him with a serious expression, "I gave him what he gave others. Terror. Pain. Hopelessness. He did the rest himself."

"Huh." Oz swallowed.

The thing that was Eric Draven turned and flowed away from him. The he stopped, and when he looked back it was Eric again. "Oz?"


"You have a place to stay?"


Eric nodded, "I've got a loft... it's not much, I don't need much anymore... but if you like?"

Oz was about to refuse, but something about the request sounded... more like an imperative. So he nodded, "Thanks."

Draven's Loft

Oz looked around. He'd seen worse, even lived in worse while on the road. But not much worse. The Loft itself was excellent material. Hardwood floors, beautiful architecture, the whole nine yards. The central window should have been the crowning touch, but instead it was a crown of thorns that accented the wreck the place had become.

Draven noticed Oz' look and shrugged, "Like I said, I don't need much of anything anymore."

Oz nodded, "being dead will do that."

Draven looked at him, "You accepted that easily."


Draven nodded, "True. But I'm not a vampire."

"Seen weirder."

Draven raised an eyebrow, "Really?"

Oz nodded.

"Such as?"

"Demons. Witches. Robots." Oz shrugged, "The usual."

Draven snorted, "Usual? Your life sounds weirder then mine."

"I've got my own... problems."

Draven nodded again. "I know. I can feel it. But I can't figure out what it is about that sets me off."

Oz walked over to the large circular window and looked up at the new moon. He took a deep breath. "You see that?"

"What? The moon?"

Oz nodded. "You enjoy the sight of a full moon?"

Draven was silent for a moment, "Me... Me and Shelly used to have picnics under the full moon. Romantic, she used to say."

"I guess." Oz said noncommittally. "I never see them anymore."


"Got bit by a werewolf."

That actually floored Draven. "Whoa."

Oz just nodded.

"What happened?" Eric asked, "You get attacked in the woods or something?"

Oz curled up his lips slightly, "Cousin."


"Baby cousin... bit me while I was holding him."

Draven looked at the young musician for a second. "Your kidding, right?"

Oz shrugged.

Draven chuckled, "That sucks."

Oz looked up at the moon again, "I learned to deal."

"No, man." Draven corrected, "Not the werewolf thing. I mean the way you got it... you can't even use it as a cool 'war story'."

Oz smiled, and shook his head. "You have a warped sense of humor, you know that?"

Draven shrugged. "I'm dead, so shoot me."

"Would it do me any good?"


"Didn't think so."

"Might make you feel better."

Oz smiled, "Nah."

The two men looked at each other and smiled. Then they looked out the circular window and their smiles grew sad. Each for their own reasons.

Finally Draven looked back at his houseguest. "There's a bed in the room over there... It's yours."

"What about you?"

Eric looked at the large window. "I... stay out here."

Oz got up slowly, the morning light pouring in form the single window positioned high above the bed. It hadn't been the worse night sleep he had ever had, but he wasn't exactly in the Waldorf.

The room looked better by daylight though, or at least less... spooky. Now it simply looked dilapidated.

He got dressed quickly and stepped out into the main loft.

"Hey." Draven said from where he was crouched by the large circular window.

"Hey." Oz returned.

"Sleep well?"



A silence ensued. It wasn't uncomfortable, it wasn't stressed, it simply was. Neither men felt the need to break it so it stretched on for seconds, then minutes.

It was broken before it reached a half hour by a thumping at the door.

"Draven! I know you're in there, open up!"

Oz raised an eyebrow, "Friend?"

Draven shrugged, "Cop."

Oz didn't bother to respond.

Draven went over to the door and unlocked it, "Come on in, Albrect."

The black detective stepped inside, "Eric, we need to..." He stopped as he noticed Oz. "Who's your friend?"


"He... uh... like you?"

Draven shrugged, "Yeah... he's a musician too."

Albrect shook his head, "No... I uh... mean the bird thing."

Eric widened his eyes, "Oh *that*..."

A silence ensued.

"Well?" The black detective finally prodded.

"No. He's not like me in that way."

"He know the score?"

Eric nodded and walked back to Oz. "Oz, Detective Albrect. Albrect, Oz."

Oz nodded, "Nice to meet you."

"Yeah... same." Albrect turned back to Eric, "Look... I've got a problem..."

Eric looked at him, "I don't work for the cops, Albrect. You know that."

"Yeah yeah, I know. But I'm thinking that this may be right up your alley."

"I'm listening."

Albrect grabbed a chair from the far wall and drug it into the center of the room. He sat down on it backwards and motioned for the other two to make themselves comfortable. Oz dropped into a sofa that was against the closest wall, and Eric just leaned against a beam.

Albrect nodded and began, "Look... since you, well, came back from the dead... I've been looking into the weird case files. I've found some really strange stuff."


"Like graves being dug up hours after the bodies were planted, cadavers vanishing from morgues, that kind of stuff."

Eric and Oz shared a knowing look.

"And the really weird thing," Albrect continued, "Is the way I got this stuff."

"What do you mean?" Eric asked.

"I had to go to the sources. I talked with coroners, undertakers, doctors... but none of their stories made it into the reports... and these people swore up and down that they made formal reports."

Oz nodded from where he sat and Albrect noticed the motion. "You know something, kid?"

Oz shrugged, "You won't believe me."

Albrect snorted. "Try me."


A long silence.



Albrect looked back at Draven. "Please tell me that this guy is high or something?"

Draven smiled, "Sorry. Ran into a couple last night... nasty little things, one of em took a bight out of me."

"You ok?" The detective looked actually concerned.

Draven nodded. "Yeah, turns out they don't like dead blood."

Albrect was silent for a while. "That still doesn't explain why the reports weren't getting filed."

Oz shrugged, "They bought someone on the force... maybe more then one."

"Oh come on!" Albrect objected, "You're telling me that the Chicago PD has cops who work for Vampires?"

Oz shrugged, "Seen it before."

"Great. Just fucking fabulous!" Albrect swore, "How the hell am I supposed to see this to the DA?"

Oz smiled, "Know the feeling, man."

Albrect stood up and started pacing. "Jesus..." He glared at Draven, "Nothing's been the same since you came back, you know that!?"

Eric shrugged, "Sorry... not exactly my idea."

Albrect swore again and kept pacing. "What the hell am I supposed to do about this?"

Oz shrugged again, "Not much."


"What can you do?" Oz asked calmly, "Not a whole lot. Like you said, the authorities won't believe you."

Albrect shook his head in frustration, "I can't stand by and do nothing."

"Welcome to the club."

"What are you talking about?" he rounded on Oz.

Oz remained unperturbed. "Been there. Done that. Got the T-Shirt. Been hunting vampires for over two years."

Albrect looked at him in shock, "You?"

"And some friends."

The detective blinked. "Friends?"

"High school buds... and my girlfriend."

"High school....?" Albrect trailed off, "You have got to be kidding me. A bunch of highschool brats hunting vampires?"

"Save the world a couple times too." Oz shrugged.


"Occupational hazard."

Albrect gave up and stepped back. He glanced at Draven, "Here I thought you were as weird as they come."

Eric smiled, "Guess I'll have to try harder next time."

Albrect shook his head and lifted his hands in supplication. "Spare me. Look, I've got to go... and think this through. I'll see you later."

The detective left the room rapidly and closed the door behind him.

Eric looked after the retreating cop. "I've never been able to get rid of him that fast."

Oz shrugged. "It's a gift."


Oz was wrapping up a set when he saw a slim woman with dark hair approach Draven. Something about her set off his wolf side a lot like Draven did. He could feel the hairs on the back of his neck climbing with every step she took.

Oz wrapped the number and waved lightly to the crowd as he stepped down off the stage. Behind him the next performer moved into place and in an instant the low rhythm and bass were shaking the club again. He walked over toward Draven, who was watching him approach with a slightly impatient look on his face.

"What's up?"

Draven shifted as he glanced over at the dark haired woman, "A friend of mine ran into some trouble she'd like a hand with... I'm leaving early tonight."

Oz nodded, "Need a hand?"

Draven shook his head, "I doubt it..."

Oz shrugged, "I'm done for the night anyway... besides, believe it or not I'm starting to miss my nightly dose of life risking."

Draven looked at the young guitarist, trying to figure out if he was joking or not. It didn't help that he delivered the line like he was reading a page from the phonebook. Finally he shrugged, "Suit yourself."

Oz nodded and stepped into line behind Draven as the taller man walked out of the club.

"Who's the meat bag?"

Draven didn't bother to react, "Hannah, this is Oz. Oz, Hannah."

"Hey." Oz said calmly.

"What's he doing here, Draven?" She asked, ignoring Oz completely.

"He's a friend." Draven said simply, "What's the deal?"

Hannah frowned for a moment, glaring at Oz, then shrugged. "I was following the police reports lately. There's been a kidnapping."

Draven nodded, he knew that Hannah had a thing for kidnappers. "Why do you need me?"

"I don't." She said, "I need that cop you have in your back pocket."

Draven rolled his eyes, "Don't say something like that in front of Darrel... He'll find a way to kill me."

She smirked, "So?"

Eric sighed, "let's get moving."

Oz nodded, "Van?"


The three got into Oz's van and drove off, Eric dialing Albrect's number as they did.


"Jesus, Draven," Albrect cursed, "I can't keep doing this."

"Just hand it over, Darrell." Draven said, extending his hand and taking the clear plastic bag from the detective. He tossed it back to where Hannah was leaning against the side of the van, looking bored.

"About time." She muttered and started digging though the evidence bag. She started pulling out one thing after another, dropping them to the ground after a moments concentration.

"Oh! Hey!" Albrect protested, "Don't do that!"

Oz winced slightly and began retrieving items from around her feet. When they stopped falling he looked up at her, and was surprised to see that her eyes had focused on something that seemed far off.

"What's with that?"

Eric looked at her, "She's tuned into something."


"Yeah right." Albrect muttered, grabbing the rest of the stuff back from Oz... "Damn it... what am I supposed to do about prints now?"

Hannah smiled evilly, her white mask taken over her face. "Forget it. You won't be needing it after tonight."

Then she turned and walked away.

"Hey... whoa, now, wait a second!" Darrell followed, protesting, "What do you mean by that?"

Eric put a hand on his shoulder, "Don't worry. I'll keep things under control."

"Oh, that makes me feel so much better!" Albrect muttered, "You can't keep yourself under control, Eric!"

Oz shrugged, "I'm going with them..."

"You!?" Darrell looked at him in shock, "I don't even know you! But if you're hanging around with these two then I'm sure I don't want to!"

Oz hopped into the drivers side, "I'm hurt."

Eric smiled, "Albrect never learned to play nice in kindergarten... he was too busy trying to lock the other kids up in the play pen."

Oz started the car, "Where to?"

Hannah poked her head in between them, "Abandoned building at 48th and Sound."


Oz backed the van out, leaving Albrect staring after the receding van, "I'm gonna lose my badge again... I just know it."

Abandoned building, 48th and Sound

"So, what now?"

Hannah looked up at the building and snarled, "Now I bust some heads."

She slammed open the back doors and vanished out the back.

Oz and Draven looked at each other. "Some girlfriend you have there."

Eric shook his head, "Not mine. You want her, she's yours."

Oz smiled, "Nah. I got a girl..." Then he was silent for a bit, "Or I did until some stuff happened..."

Eric looked at him, "Tell me about it later, man. We better get up there before she kills someone."

Oz nodded, "Lead on, Mr Mime."

Draven shot him a dirty look, "Like I've never heard that one before."

"I've never said that one before," Oz responded, "So its new enough for me."

Draven sighed, "let's go."

"When's the buyer getting here?"

Fred looked up from his cards, "Relax Billy. He'll be here."

"Hey man," Billy looked around, "This is some deep shit man... I didn't plan on getting into this stuff..."

"Billy, Billy, Billy, Relax. It's just business. There's a market and we're filling the supply side of it."

"You're talking about selling a kid, man... this is really out there."

"I know guy's who do it every day." Fred said confidently, "Come on man, think of what you can do with the cash..."

Billy started to calm down, "Yeah... yeah. Man, I could really use that dough."

"See?" Billy smiled, "Check on the package."

"Ok, Billy."

Fred when to a side room and checked on the 'package', a small blond girl about four years old. She was sitting in the corner of the darkened room, huddled up and staring at the door. The light reflected off her tear stained cheeks when Billy opened the door.

"Daddy?" her voice wafted plaintively through the air.

Billy shut the door on her.

"She's alright, man. We gonna clean her up before the guy gets here?"

"Naw," Fred said, "he has some people who do all that shit... the get a better price after they fix em all up I hear."


At that point a dark voice echoed the last statement with a questioning twist. "Wow?"

Billy jumped into the air, looking around. "What the hell?"

"Hell indeed." A white faced flipped down from the rafters, grinning into his face from its perch as it hung upside down a few inches from him.

"Shit!" Billy screamed and jumped back.

Fred pulled a gun, "What the fuck!?"

Talon dropped from the rafters of the old building and grinned evilly at the two kidnappers. "A child is a sacred thing, one that you have defiled..."

"She's a fucking wacko!"

Fred snorted, "You think I don't see that?"

He raised his pistol and pointed it at the white faced woman, "Don't know where you came from you crazy bitch, but I'm not gonna worry about it for long."

She kept grinning and walked toward him, her hands outstretched.

He opened fire.

Bullet after bullet shook Talon's small frame, knocking her back a step here and there, but she kept coming. As she got closer Fred could see the bullet holes healing up under her ruined shirt.

"Oh shit..." he whispered, "What the fuck are you?"

"A mother." She whispered as she grabbed his hand and twisted it around until a loud cracking sound was heard through the room.

"Aaaaah!" He screamed in pain and fell to his knees, cradling his broken hand.

"How about your neck next?"


She looked back to where Draven was standing. "Relax Birdy Boy. I'm not gonna kill him... but I'll make him wish I had."

Oz stepped into the room, holding the young girl in his arms. "Hannah." He said softly.

She looked back at him and saw his serious expression as he shook his head. Finally she shook her head in disgust. "Alright... But he's not getting out of here scot free."

"Never said he was." Draven said, reaching across and taking a small charm from the girls wrist. "Can I borrow this?"

The young child looked up at the smiling face and nodded, her lips pouting as she tried not to cry.

"Thanks, kiddo." Draven took the charm and closed his eyes for a second. Then he tossed the charm to Talon.

She caught it easily and felt the charge of fear and pain run through her as she was exposed to what the little girl had felt. She turned back to Fred and grinned, "Got a little present for you..." She said in a sing-song voice.

She grabbed him by the head and felt the pain flow from her into him. The utter fear and helplessness felt by a four year old girl as two men grabbed her and stuffed her into a dank dark trunk, drove her across town, then held her for two days without light, without her parents, without anything but the monsters of a child's imagination to keep her company.

The grown man began sobbing and curled up on the floor, his hand now just a minor pain.

Billy stared at the scene in terror. "Wha... What did you do to Fred?"

Talon turned around, a feral look in her face, "Don't worry, your turn is coming."

Billy ran. He stumbled to his feet and ran for the door. Draven tripped him calmly as he past and he came to a skidding halt at a pair of dirty old sneakers. He looked up and say the young man holding the little girl.

"Come on man... I didn't even want to do it! Don't let them do that to me man!"

Oz crouched down, sheltering the young girls eyes by pushing her head gently into his shoulder. He looked at the man at his feet with an unreadable expression, then his eyes suddenly turned yellow and his features grew feral.

"Tell you what," He said in a growling voice, "Take your chances with them... or me. I'm a little hungry tonight."

Billy spun on his back, and started backpedaling away from the golden eyes he saw in front of him. "What the fuck? Man this can't be real! This can't be real!"

Draven caught him, "You want real? Try this one for size."

Draven poured the pain to the frightened man, leaving him in the same condition of his companion. Then he straitened up and looked around, "We should call Albrect, we can wait here until they show up."

Oz nodded, and hefted the little girl again. "Come on, lil darlin," He drawled in a mock western slang, "Let's wait for the nice police to take you home to mommy and daddy... ok?"

She nodded into his shoulder and held on tight.

"Thanks Albrect," Draven said as Oz handed the little girl over to the detective.

"No," Darrell nodded at the three of them, "Thanks for finding her. Her parents are going to be very happy."

Talon barely glanced at Albrect, instead looking around impatiently. "Can you guys hurry the kissy kissy up? I have a buyer to track down."

Draven hung his head and sighed, "Alright Hannah..."

"Uh... What's she talking about?" Darrell asked.

"They had a buyer for the little girl, it wasn't a ransom thing." Draven said, "Billy Bob over there started mumbling before you got here."

"You get a name?"

"No." Draven replied, "But Hannah pried a contact number out of the other one."

"Well give it to me." Darrell said.

"Uh uh." Hannah sat on the table swinging her legs, "These bastards are mine."

Darrell looked between Draven and Hannah, "I don't think that's a good idea..."

Draven shrugged, "She can shut them down faster then the police, Darrell... you know that."

"I don't like it."

Hannah finally hopped off the table and walked out of the room, brushing past Albrect, "I don't care."

Oz was driving Draven and Foster back to the Blackout.

"So, what's next?"

Draven shrugged.

Hannah looked around, "We find these guys."


Hannah looked blank.

Oz thought about smiling, then decided against it. Instead he just said flatly, "So maybe telling off the cop was a bad idea?"

Draven smirked and Hannah glared at him. "What's your idea, smart ass?"

Oz shrugged, "Anyone have a computer?"

Draven looked up, "There one in the office at the Blackout."




Oz looked at the computer and slowly hen pecked an address into the computer with two fingers.

"You sure you know what you're doing?"

"Uh huh." He hit enter and waited the page to load.

"What's this?"

"Phone directory." Oz tapped in the number they had and hit enter again. An error came up.

"This is a waste of time." Hannah muttered.

Oz tapped in another command and hit enter. The page faded and was replaced by an address for the number.

"What the?" Draven looked at it, "How'd you do that?"

Oz shrugged, "I dated a hacker... she put a back door on that site months ago."

"Cool." Grinned Hannah, "Let's go."

Oz pulled the Van over in front of a crappy looking building.

"What a rathole."

Oz shrugged and glanced back at Hannah, "At least its not an abandoned warehouse."


"Never mind." Oz shrugged.

"Let's go."

Remi Salz looked around the building and shuddered. He'd just gotten clear without being spotted by the cops. He finished leaving a message on the boss's machine and sat down. He had to get moving, he realized, That idiot, Fred, had his phone number. He could spill to the cops anytime.

"I've got to get out of here..." He stood up, his voice filled with realization.

"Too late." A dark echoed from the corner.

He turned around in surprise, "who the fuck are you?"

A woman with a white face walked almost seductively out of the shadows. "Someone who wants a word with your boss."

"Oh yeah?" Remi drew a gun, "How's 'get fucked' for a word?"

"Actually, I think that's two words." She said smiling as she walked toward him.

"What the fuck is your problem, bitch?"

"Men who steal children."

"You're one crazy bitch." Remi held the gun in a shaking hand, "Stay where you are!"

"What are you gonna do?" She smiled, "shoot me?"

Remi cursed, "You fucking wacko... Stay back!"

She ignored him.

"I'm warning you!"

She kept walking.

His fingers clenched on the trigger and the gun went off.

She staggered but kept coming. He fired again, then again. She didn't stop.

He backed away from her until his back hit the wall, and she stepped right up to him. Her face was less then an inch from his face and she whispered quietly into his ear.

"It sucks to be you, don't it?"

Then her knee came up and slammed into his groin, hard.

Remi crumpled over, moaning and gasping for air as he hit the ground. When he was able to see again there were three people standing over him, looking down on him. They all looked pissed off. Or two of them did. The third guy looked at him with an expressionless face and an odd gleam in his eye that sent shivers down Remi's spine.

"Time for a chat, Remi..."


"Nice place." Draven said, looking at the white mansion.

"Yeah." Hannah growled, "Real nice."

"What now?" Oz asked.

"You should wait here." Eric said, "We'll go in and see what we can find."

Oz shook his head, "I'm in all the way on this."

Eric stared at him for a few seconds before nodding. "Fine. Let's go."

Michael Devenport sat back in his chair and frowned at the TV. He'd just received a message from the guy he'd sent to pick up the little girl. The cops were swarming over the building she'd been held in.

That was a bad blow, it meant he'd have to cancel the order or find a new girl fast.

He picked up his phone and was about to make a call when the intruder alarm went off. He hit the number for the security office.

"What's going on?"

"Sir, please stay in your office... we have three intruders who just cleared the fence."

"Well get them!"

"Yes sir."

"They're over there!" The Security guard ran around a corner looking for the shadow they had been chasing.

He stopped and looked around, "What the fuck?"

Suddenly a face popped down from above him, "Peek-a-boo!"

"AAHH!" The guard jumped.

Draven knocked him on the head with a light tap, "Yoo hoo... anyone home?"

"Jesus! You're fucked up!"

Draven dropped to the ground, and grinned. "Maybe... but's haven't you heard? That's the in thing today..."

The guard lifted his gun up and Draven moved like lighting, flooring the guard with a spin kick and a leg sweep. When the guard hit the ground, Draven leaned over him and looked at the man's pained eyes. "You ok?"

The guard nodded a little blearily.

Draven grinned, "Too bad," and knocked the guards head against the ground once. The lights went out.

Two guards chased a figure into the pool area, and then lost track of it. "What the fuck?"

"Ummm..." A voice sounded from behind them. The spun around and looked at a young man standing casually behind them. "You looking for someone?"

The guards approached him cautiously, their hands on their pistols. "Who are you?"

The man put his hands up, "Me? I'm no one... It's her you should worry about."


"Me." The voice came from behind them and they both instinctively spun toward the noise.

Hannah caught them in mid swing and literally knocked their heads together. As the two men stumbled apart, dazed, she punched the closest in the nose, then grabbed him by the hair and slammed his head down into her knee. He dropped like a stone.

She turned around and saw Oz catch the other one with a powerful haymaker that dropped the guard in one shot.

Hannah smiled, "Nice shot."

Oz shrugged, "After vampires, humans aren't a real challenge."


"Later." Oz walked toward the mansion.

Hannah thought about it, then shrugged and followed Oz.

Michael clicked the phone several times, but couldn't get a hold of the security office. He looked around a bit nervously, then dialed 911.

"911 emergency, what is the problem?"

"Someone broke into my home."

"What is your address, Sir?"

"448 Shire road."

"Please stay on the phone while I send a squad car."

Michael looked around, "Hurry."

He was still on the phone when a tapping came at his window. "I hear something at the window..."

"Sir, please stay away from the window... Sir? Sir?"

Michael stepped over to the window and looked out. Nothing. He opened the window and looked down on his backyard pool. Nothing.

He backed up, then heard another noise. He stepped closer to the window again and suddenly jumped as a man swung in and casually sat cross-legged on the ledge. "Hey, mind if I come in?"

Michael didn't answer.

"Thanks." The man grinned and walked in. He picked up the phone and listened in.

"Sir? Sir? Are you all right?"

"Oh he's fine..." The man said into the phone, "He won't be soon though..."

"Who is this?"

"Good bye." Draven hung up the phone.

"Who... who are you?"

Draven just grinned at him and walked across the room, casually opening the door.

Waiting on the other side were a man and a woman, who stared at Michael grimly as they walked in.

"You have to pardon my friends..." Draven smiled, "They just have no sense of humor..."

"What do you people want?"

Hannah walked up to him, her hand brushing lightly against his chest until it reached his tie. Then she grabbed and twisted, as he choked she leaned in and whispered harshly in his face. "I want to know how you were going to move the girl."

"W... what girl?"

"Wrong answer." Hannah growled as she pun around and tossed the man against the window. She rushed over to him before he could move and shoved him halfway out. "Care to play again?"

"I don't know what you're talking about!" He tried to insist, but suddenly found himself sliding off the second story window ledge, only a very slim girl between him and the tiled surface below.

"Strike two..." Called a male voice from behind her, sounding bored.

He slid a little bit more and suddenly broke. "Alright, alright! I'll tell you!"

The woman pulled him up easily and grinned evilly at him, "Now was that so hard?"

Michael swallowed.

"So talk." the white faced man said.

Michael didn't see an option. He talked.

Oz, Draven, and Hannah walked out of the house calmly. In the distance they could hear sirens blaring. Draven dialed a number on his cell phone as they got into the van and drove off.

"Darrell, Eric. Yeah... it's done. You might want to check out a report of a break in on Shire road... yeah, you might find some interesting things in an upstairs closet... yeah. See you tomorrow. Bye."

Eric closed the phone and looked back at Talon. "So, now you know. What are you going to do about it?"

Talon closed her eyes, "I'm going to Toronto."

"You're leaving?"

Oz shrugged, "Gig was almost up."

"I could get it extended..." Draven offered.

Oz shook his head, "No. I think I'll go with Hannah."

Eric laughed, "Good luck. She's a lady on a mission, man."

Oz shrugged again, "There are worse missions."

"True." Eric extended his hand and Oz clasped it, "Good luck, man."

Oz nodded, "You too."

Eric nodded, "Hannah's packing her stuff at her place. You'd better hurry up."

Oz nodded and closed the door to the van and started it. He waved to Draven as to drove away from the Blackout.

"What are you doing here?" Hannah asked Oz as he got out of the still running van.

"Thought you might like some company."

"You thought wrong."

Oz shrugged, "Ever been to Toronto?"

She shook her head, "Why?"

"I have."

Hannah looked at him oddly and he shrugged, "I did a gig in a nightclub up there."

"You know your way around?"

"Some. Enough."

She growled. "All right. You can come along."

Oz smiled, and dead panned, "Thanks."

She actually smiled at him slightly as she pushed her small bike around to the back of the van. "So you gonna give a lady a hand?"

Oz didn't answer, he just moved over and helped her manhandle the bike into the van. Then the two of them got into the front and Oz started the van. A few minutes later found them on the freeway, heading North.


"I thought you said you knew your way around!?"

Oz shrugged, "Sue me."

Hannah looked over at him with a growl, "I'm dead, remember? I don't use lawyers... Kicking your ass might be an option though. I thought you did a 'gig' up here?"

"I did..." Oz said, looking around for street signs, "We spent two nights here."

"Two nights!?" Hannah looked over at him, "That's it?"

"More than you."

Hannah just growled and folded her arms over her chest.

Oz looked over at her, "Why?"


"Why are you after these guys?"

Hannah's face closed up a little. "They're crooks."

"Plenty of crooks in Chicago."

She was silent for a time. "They're kidnappers."


"So, you know what I am?"

"A little."

"I was killed... I came back for revenge."

"You were killed by kidnappers?"


Oz could tell by her voice that there was more to it. "What else?"

Hannah glared at the windshield for a long moment. "My daughter."

Oz nodded but remained silent.

"They left us to die. No food, no water. I was stronger then my daughter... I... I had to..." She closed her eyes as flashes of memories burned into her mind.

"Watch." Oz said quietly, "You had to watch."

He could see Hannah's head nodded painfully, his knuckles whitening as his grip on the steering wheel tightened. "Ok."

She looked over at him, her eyes still filled with pain, but also curious. "Ok?"

He nodded, "Ok. We'll get these bastards."

7th Precinct, Toronto

"Hey Kermit," Peter Caine walked into the small office and grabbed a seat by his friend, "You find anything on that white slavery ring?"

The man in the chair looked over at him through thick, green, sunglasses and shook his head.

"Not a damned think, Pete. They've got their tracks covered by pros."

"Damn." Peter muttered, "You know if we don't get something on this group fast the Captain is going to rip me a new..."

"A new what, Detective Caine?"

Peter winced and turned around, "Nothing Captain... nothing at all."

"Figures." The red headed woman smirked at him, "Now get back to work... before I do that nothing you weren't thinking about."

As she left Kermit grinned at Peter, "You want some salt for that foot?"

"Shut up." Peter growled, "I'm going to Chinatown..."

"Wait... Don't tell me," Kermit grinned wide, "Ask for Caine... He will help."

Peter grimaced at the other cop and left. "Wise ass."

Kermit grinned and turned back to his computer. "Come on you little devil... I know you're in here somewhere... come to daddy..."

"Where are we?"


Hannah looked over at Oz, her eyes flashing. "How the hell did we get to Chinatown? We're looking for the docks."

"No, we're not. We're looking for some help."

"Help?" She looked confused, "Who the hell is going to help us here?"

Oz smiled, remembering the last thing Giles had told him before he left Sunnydale. "Go to Chinatown, ask for Caine... He will help you."

"What are you babbling about?"

Oz just smiled and pulled into a small lot. He parked the van and climbed out. "Come on. I have to get this done, then we'll find your kidnappers."

Hannah growled, "Fine."

The two wandered down the street, with Oz occasionally stopping to ask for directions.

"Excuse me? Where can I find... Caine?"

Whenever he would ask the person would smile and point him along. Before long he was standing outside a small building that the last person had pointed him toward.

"This is it?"

Oz nodded.

"We going inside?"

Oz took a breath and nodded. "Let's go."

Kwai Chang Caine looked up as the door to his small Dojo opened. He paused as he felt the life forces... life force of the two people who entered. One of them was powerful, but had no aura of life around her. He shivered at the cold chill that came from her, not an evil feeling but one that reminded him of the pure winds of the Arctic.

The boy had a very powerful chi. But his life force was twisted, infected by a foreign energy. Caine drew in a slow breath, he knew the cause of the boy's problem. The woman, was something new to him, though.

"Welcome." He greeted the two with a slight bow.

The boy returned the bow, "Are you Master Caine?"

"I am."

"I was told that you might be able to help me."

"I might."

Oz nodded and stepped forward, "I'm a..."

"I know." Caine said softly, "I know what you seek, and I might be able to help."

Oz waited.

"You will be required to work very hard."

"I'm willing."

Caine nodded, "Yes... I can see that."

The he turned, as if the matter were settled, and looked at Hannah. "And you?"

"I don't need anything."

Caine smiled, "Perhaps..."

Peter barged in the door at that moment, "Pop, I need your help..."

Caine laughed softly, only the barest hint of exhaled air being heard, "And perhaps the help you need is seeking you."

"Pop?" Peter Caine looked around, a little confused. He didn't recognize either of the people in his father Dojo, which wasn't odd in itself but something about the woman was giving him goosebumps along the back of his neck. "You ok?"

Oz noticed the man's hand resting along his belt, waiting for Kwai Chang Caine to speak.

"I'm fine, Peter."

Peter let himself relax slightly, his hand slipping away from his gun, but moved to a position where he could watch both of his father's guests.

Caine turned toward Hannah, "I believe you have something to say?"

Hannah looked at him, her eyes narrowing. "Why do you say that?"

The Priest shrugged slowly, "You came to Chinatown on a mission."

Peter looked at the woman curiously. "What mission?"

"I didn't say that!" Hannah protested, "I don't have any mission."

Caine smiled, "We all have a mission... Your's is simply bared to the eyes around you."

"Stop talking like that!" Hannah backed up a step, "I'm out of here."

Oz laid a hand on her arm, "Wait."

He turned and looked at the young man who had come in, "You're a cop?"

Peter raised an eyebrow in surprise, "Yeah..."

Oz nodded, "Tell him, Hannah."

She shook her head, "No way. This is my 'mission'. I'm not turning it over to some tight ass idiot who couldn't find..."

Peter cut her off, "Whoa! Hey, slow down! You don't know me! So ease up on the insults."

Hannah glared at him, "Cops are useless. They couldn't save me or my..."

Oz stepped up beside her, "Hannah."


"Sometimes... you have to trust someone."

Hannah glared at him as well, then turned on her heel and started to walk out the door.

"If you don't tell them..." Oz said quietly, "I will."

She stopped, her hand on the door, and stood still for a long time. Finally she turned back, looking at Oz with cold eyes. "Fine. You win."

"Wait a minute..." Peter protested slightly, "You're here to track down a group that sells kidnaped children?"

Oz and Hannah nodded.

Peter shook his head and glared at his father. "Do you have a bat signal on the roof of this place or something?"

"I... do not think so."

"Then how come every time I come here you're knee deep in something that I'm working on at the precinct?"

Caine shrugged, slowly, deliberately. "Dumb luck?"

Oz let out a very small laugh.

Peter heard it, "What do you find so funny?"

Oz shrugged, slowly, deliberately. "Have a friend with your father's sense of humor."

Peter groaned. "Great. Like I need to know that there are more then one of them out there!"

"I should very much like to meet your friend one day," Caine said with a small smile.

Peter groaned. "God save me." Then turned back to Hannah, trying to get things back on track. "How did you know where to come?"

Hannah frowned, "We rescued a little girl in Chicago a couple nights ago. After that we started tracking back up the pipeline. First to the courier, then the local buyer, now we're looking for the distributer."

Peter nodded, "That fits with what we've been trying to dig up on these Slavers... They bring in victims, usually women and children, from all over the continent. Slip them across the border from the states cause it's easily done, and then ship them out of the country. Problem is they are adept at hiding their tracks."

Hannah shrugged, "We have a name and number for a contact here in Toronto."

"How sure are you of your information."

Hannah smiled, "Oh, he wasn't lying... I'm sure of that"

Kermit walked into the Dojo tentatively, not really sure what to expect. The call from Pete wasn't exactly packed with information. "Yo Pete!?"

He looked around, Pete, His father, and two others were in the room. Kermit glanced the other two over and almost dismissed them, until something about the way they both stood set him on edge. They weren't pros... that much was certain, but they were watching him like he was a potential threat.

<Interesting.> Kermit smiled and wondered how Pete had come across these two. He looked at the young detective and grinned, "So, what's the what?"

Peter grimaced slightly, "These two have a lead on the slavers."

Kermit dropped his sunglasses a bit and looked at the couple over the top of the frames. "Why am I not surprised?"

Caine shrugged, and Peter just looked the other way.

"Never mind." Kermit muttered, "What have you got?" He directed the question to the couple.

"A name and a contact number for the end receiver here in Toronto."

"Cool." Kermit smiled. "Now *that* is something I can sink my modem into."

Office Building, Downtown Toronto

"This is the place?" Peter looked up at the skyscraper from where he was leaning against his car.

Kermit nodded from the other side of the vehicle. "Uh huh."

"What's in this place?"

"The Corporate offices of, get this," Kermit grinned, "Teng Lath Industries."

Peter shook his head, "Never heard of it."

"Thought you'd say that... but you might know the President of Teng Lath. Bon Bon Hai."

"Son of a..." Peter cursed.

"Who's Bon Bon Hai?"

Peter glanced back to where the cold faced young woman was staring at him. "He runs the rackets in Chinatown... Took over after my father took down Tan."

"I see." Hannah looked up at the building, "So, what are we waiting for? Let's go in there and toss him out his office window."

Peter stared at her in shock and Kermit chuckled. "I like the way the little lady thinks."

"Shut up, Kermit... Don't encourage her." Peter growled, "And you! Get back in the car. Now."

Hannah smiled at him, sending a chill up his spine, but got back in the car calmly. She looked over at where Oz was sitting peacefully in the back of the car and smiled again, "Tonight."

Oz shrugged. "Cool."

Caine's Dojo

"Why are we back here?" Hannah hissed at Oz as they walked in to the large room.

Oz shrugged, "I need help from Master Caine."


Oz glanced at her, "I'm a werewolf."

Hannah looked at him in shock, "What?"

"Lets just say, you don't want to be around me for a few nights next week. Full moon."

Hannah stared at him like he was insane. "You... you knew you were coming here?"

Oz nodded, "I was heading for Toronto when I left Sunnydale. I have a friend who recommended Master Caine to me."

"For what?"

"Meditations... control... Giles, that's my friend, has some books that suggest that control is possible... He thought that Master Caine could help."

Hannah shrugged, "Whatever. Tonight we deal with this Bon Bon Hai creep."

Oz shrugged. "Cool."

That Night

Outside Teng Lath Corporate HQ

Peter looked over at Kermit where the other cop was sitting in the passenger seat of the Trans-am. "So, what did you think of those two?"

"What two?"

"The two kids at my father's."

"Ah... Them."

"Yeah, them." Peter looked over, exasperated. "Who else?"

"I don't know," Kermit grinned, "They seem... interesting."

Peter snorted, "They were at my Dad's... I think that 'interesting' is a required trait."

"You might be right about that." Kermit said, "They are also dangerous."

"Huh?" Peter turned around curiously. "What do you mean?"

"Well," Kermit started casually, "First off, that little girl was walking like a fighter... and a good one. And the guy, well I don't know what it is about him... but something sets me on edge."

Peter nodded, "You too? Both of them make my teeth itch."

Kermit nodded, "Yeah... and then there's the fact that they are breaking into the office building over there."

Peter jerked his head around to where Kermit was pointing, "What!?"

Sure enough two figures were standing at the front doors to the office building. As Peter watched a third figure joined them. He groaned and Kermit grinned.

"Pop! What are you doing!?" He asked no one in particular as he reached for the door.

"So, how do we get in?" Oz looked up at the tall building.

Hannah glanced at him and her face shifted as she grinned. Her war face brought out she held up her fist and said, "The easy way?"

Talon pulled her fist back to smash it into the door when a hand came from nowhere and grabbed her wrist. "That, will not be necessary."

"Wha?" Talon shifted in surprise and struck out at the intruder.

Caine blocked her move easily, then blocked the next two. "Be at ease. I am not here to harm you."

Talon finally recognized him. "You? How did you know where to find us?"

Caine shrugged, "I.. Guessed."

Oz smiled, "Cool."

Caine looked at the door and reached forward, "Allow me."

Oz and Talon watched as he placed his thumb over the lock and slowly twisted. The lock clicked, and Caine pulled the door open. "After you,"

Talon stared at him for a second, then walked in, followed by Oz.

Caine stepped in and closed the door behind him, twisting the lock shut and then following the other two.

"Dammit!" Peter cursed as he tested the door.

"Hang on... I may not be your father, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve..." Kermit bent down to the door and pulled a set of lock picks out of his pants. He started to tinker with the lock while Peter watched in frustration.

Oz hung back and looked at Caine, "Why are you here?"

Caine shrugged, "You are here to save children, yes?"

Oz nodded.

"The you have your answer."

Talon looked back at them, "Would you two shut up? We have to find the next connection in the pipeline."

Oz smiled, Caine shrugged, and they shut up and followed Talon to the stairs.

"Would you hurry up!?"

"Patience, Peter... Patience." Kermit grinned as the lock clicked and he pulled the door open. "Presto."

"About time." Peter slipped past him and into the building.

Oz looked around, "Guard coming."

Talon looked at him sharply. "How do you?"

"He is correct." Caine lifted his arms and backed the group into an unlocked office.

Talon started to object but Caine silenced her with a glance. A moment later they could hear footsteps pass outside. A few moments later the group left the office and continued through the halls.

"Were are we going?" Oz asked Talon.

She glared at him, "We're looking around."

Oz glanced at Caine, "She doesn't know..."

Caine smiled, and looked around slowly as he walked. "Let us try... here." he pointed to an unmarked door.

"Why?" Talon glanced ta the unremarkable door.

Caine shrugged slowly, "Why not?"

She stared at him for a long moment, but finally sighed and nodded. "Alright... let's try there."

"Guard." Kermit whispered.

He and Peter flattened themselves against the wall as the guard approached. Slowly the shadow grew and the footsteps grew louder. Closer, and closer, until the guard was right at the corner.

Peter was sweating, and Kermit looked bored but tense, when the guard suddenly paused in mid step and turned around. As the footsteps receded the two police officers breathed a sigh of relief.

"Why does that always happen to us?" Peter asked, "I mean... how do you keep doing that?"

"Me? I thought that was you?" Kermit grinned and glanced around the corner. "He's gone around the next corner... let's go."

Talon looked at the desk and the computer that sat on it in disgust. "Great. Now what?"

Oz shrugged and sat down behind the keyboard. "Let's see what we can dig up?"

"C'mon, Pete..." Kermit urged, "We need something to go on... this is a big building."

Peter nodded, "I'm trying... It's not like I'm my dad..."

Kermit shrugged and looked down the hallway, checking for the guard. "Anything?"

Peter glared at him and then closed his eyes, trying to breath deeply. He tried to do what his father taught him.

<Remember Peter, The Inner Eye.>

Shaolin Temple, 20 years ago

"Father... I don't know how."

"It is not about how, Peter." Caine swept his hand around the room. "It is simply a matter of doing."

Peter shook his head, "I don't understand."

Caine smiled and lifted his hands, dropping a hood over the young boy's head. "Try again."

Peter turned around, reaching out with his hands. "I can't see... How can I find you if I can't see?"

Caine's voice echoed around him, completely without direction. "You can always find me, Peter. When you need to."

Slowly Peter stopped moving blindly and stood still. Suddenly he just *knew*. He turned to his left and took two steps and reached out and touched his father. Caine laughed and pulled the hood off his son's head. "Well done, Peter."

Peter looked up at him, excited. "I could almost *see* you!"

Caine laughed again, holding his son in one arm. "I know."


Peter looked down the hall and nudged Kermit. "This way."

"Lead on, oh wise one."

The two cops moved quickly but quietly down the hall.

Oz shook his head, "The system's encrypted. I wish Willow were here..."

Caine looked at the computer, then around the otherwise bare office. "The information we need is within. I am sure of it."

Talon growled, "Well it's not doing us any good as it is. I say we find this Bon Bon Hai creep and kick his ass until he tells us what we want to know."

Caine shook his head, "An approach like that would never work on Bon Bon Hai. He would die before betraying those whom he calls master."

"I still say we find out." Talon grinned.

Oz sighed, and got up from the computer, "We may as well get out of here... We can get what we need fr..."

The sound of the door opening startled Talon and Oz, but Caine merely smiled. "Hello Peter."

"Pop." Peter hissed in aggravation, "What do you think your doing!? You could get arrested for this!"

Caine shrugged, "It would not be... the first time."

Peter rolled his eyes as Kermit walked across the room, looking at the computer. "Well, well, what have we here?"

"We think the info on the salve ring is in here... but it's encrypted." Oz supplied blandly.

"Stand back, and let the master work." Kermit grinned a he adjusted his dark glasses and slipped his Desert Eagle into its holster. He settled into the computer and started rapping at the keyboard. "Hmmm... Ameri-Lock 2.0... good system... a little out of date though... This'll take me a few minutes."

The group was silent as Kermit worked. Peter and his father watched the door while Talon paced the room in frustration. Oz simply leaned against the desk and watched the police officer type furiously into the keyboard.

Finally Kermit looked up, and expression of victory on his face. "Got it!"

He loaded up the file he had found and the group crowded around the desk. "Check this out... They've got this warehouse a few miles from here... It's technically part of the Chinese embassy, legally it's actually Chinese territory. They use it as a transfer point for the White Slavery ring. They bring 'em in from all over the country and the States, then ship them out to Hong Kong and from there to the end receivers."

Peter shook his head and let out a muffled curse. "Goddammit. I'll never get a warrant to go in there."

"Who needs a warrant?" Talon asked coldly.

Peter and Kermit looked at each other, then at the other three. Kermit smiled, "Come on, Pete... We've gone this far..."

Peter sighed and nodded. "Ok, get the address and lets get the hell out of here."

They closed up the computer and beat a hasty path out of the building.

Caine Dojo

"We need some help." Peter insisted for the fifth time of the night.

Hannah shook her head, "No. If you don't want to do it, then fine, I can handle it myself."

"Don't be stupid." Kermit snapped, "They'll have guards all over the place... You'd get yourself shot."

Hannah smiled, "Been there, done that. No big deal."

"Do you want to die?" Peter looked at her, searching her face for a death wish.

"Been there too." She smirked, "Came back... Sorry, didn't bring the T-shirt."


Oz smiled from where he was sitting but didn't say a word.

Hannah walked right up to Peter, until she was so close he could feel her breath on his lips. He was about to speak when he felt her close her hand around his gun and pull it from the holster. Peter jerked back and grabbed her hand with both of his before should could move very far.

"What are you doing!?" he demanded.

Hannah just grinned at him, her face shifting in front of his eyes until it was covered in what he had assumed some kind of crazy war paint when he saw it earlier. He strained against her arm but she moved inexorably, twisting the gun around until it was pointed straight at her own heart.

"Freeze!" Kermit had his big hand cannon out and pointed at Hannah, his face inscrutable and his eyes hidden behind those dark glasses. "Drop the weapon girl, I don't want to shoot you."

Talon just grinned and slowly forced the weapon right up against her chest.

"Are you crazy!?" Peter asked through gritted teeth as he tried to twist the gun away.

She pulled the trigger.

Talon jumped back a couple feet, her face one of shock and a little pain, but she didn't fall. She slowly straightened up and Peter stared right at the role in her shirt to where a bloodless wound was closing up in front of his eyes.

"What in the name of?" Peter trailed off.

Kermit swallowed and lowered his gun. "My God..."

"What are you?"

Talon lowered her head for a moment as she focused, and when she brought it back up it was Hannah's face everyone saw. She smiled. "I'm a Crow..."

Kwai Chang Caine nodded slowly, "You are... a spirit. A spirit of vengeance?"

Hannah nodded, her eyes sparkling.


"Peter," Caine began, "It was once said that a crow carries the spirits of the deceased to the land of the dead... and that if a great evil has been committed that a crow may return the one who was wronged so that she may attain vengeance."

Peter swallowed. "Dead?"

Hannah nodded, her face becoming grim.

"Why did you come back?" Kermit asked.

Now her face blackened and she half turned away. "It's not something I like to talk about."

She flinched when she felt a hand on her shoulder and turned back to see Oz standing behind her, his face sympathetic. She nodded gratefully and turned back to face Kermit and Peter. "I was murdered... along with my..." She closed her eyes, "Daughter."

Silence ruled the room for a long moment before anyone spoke.

"When you go," Caine said quietly, "I go with you."

"Ditto." Oz said, with a half smile.

Peter and Kermit looked at each other and shook their heads.

"Dammit, Pop... Ok, I'm in too."

Kermit smiled, "Atta boy, Pete."

"Ok," Peter shook his head and looked around. "How are we going to do this?"

Chinese Embassy Warehouse

The small group watched the guard patrol as it came back for another tour. Peter nodded, "Ok, Pop... I'll go take down the... Pop? Pop?"

He turned around but his father was gone.

Peter cursed and looked back toward the guard just as his father emerged from the shadows behind the man and wrapped a hand around his throat from behind. Three seconds later the man crumpled to the ground, completely oblivious to the world around him.

Kermit chuckled and the group moved out.

Talon nudged Oz, "You want t learn from this guy?"

Oz nodded.

"Make sure you bring an apple every morning... You want to stay on his good side."

The group made it over the fence easily, and slipped into the warehouse from the back. The place was quiet and dark as they moved stealthily through the twisted maze that was made by the countless boxes and crates packed in the huge building.

"Which way now?" Kermit looked around.

Oz glanced at him and nodded his head to the left. "This way."

"Why this way?"

Oz briefly considered asking why not? But elected instead to tap the side of his nose. "I can smell sweat... and other things you don't want to know about."

Kermit raised his eyebrows behind his dark glasses and nodded. "Ok, we go this way."

Silently the group followed Oz as he guided them through the narrow passages of the large warehouse. He came to a stop at the edge of a sliver of light emanating from a cleared area just ahead. He held up a hand and the others stopped behind him.

Peter slipped up beside Oz and inched closer to the corner the light was coming from around, "Jesus," He said as he glanced around. "There must be a hundred people in there... it's like some kind of cage."

Talon's fists closed tightly, her fingernails boring black holes in her palms. "Let's move."

Kwai Chang Caine motioned her to stop, and looked around. "We are being... watched."

Suddenly the lights came on, leaving all of them except Caine and Kermit blinking and blinded.

"How right you are, Kwai Chang Caine." A booming voice taunted from over the loudspeakers.

Caine's face became grim. "Bon Bon Hai.

A gang of men, mostly Chinese but some Caucasians, surrounded the small group as they stood there blinking in the sudden light. Kermit moved first, his desert eagle coming up and leveling on one of the closest of the men surrounding them.

"Freez... Ow!" Kermit cursed to himself as a staff strike from one of the closest Chinese men sent the Desert Eagle flying from his hands.

The group slipped in closer, tightening the noose they had slipped around the intruders. Kwai Chang Caine reacted first, sending a deceptively slow kick into the closest man, staggering him back a step.

The others followed suit, even as they blinked the light's glare from their eyes.

"Hey Pete?" Kermit asked as he drove his fist into the jaw of one of his attackers.

"Yeah, Kermit?" Peter replied after throwing the closest man to him into a stack of boxes.

Kermit ducked under a wild punch and nailed the guy in the stomach, "We're cops right?"


"So why is it," Kermit dropped his man with a right hook and casually stepped over him, "that every time we get into a situation it devolves into a kung fu exhibition?"

Peter shrugged out of a full nelson hold and drove his elbow into the man behind him. "You know, I've been thinking about that..."

"Yeah?" Kermit grinned back at him as he ducked another punch, "What did you come up with?"

Peter shrugged, "I blame my father."

Kermit just laughed and jumped into the brawl with his fists flying.

Oz sidestepped a rushing man wielding a pair of Nunchaku, delivering an untrained kick to his midsection as he passed. The man went down in a heap and Oz glanced around, making sure he was giving Talon enough room for her peculiar fighting style.

She was poetry in motion as she sliced through the attackers like a knife through butter. Her and Caine were moving in tandem, pushing their way toward the cage that held the captives with a single minded purpose. Oz half smiled and shook his head as he observed the differences in their styles.

Compared to Talon, Caine was moving in slow motion, and yet his hands and feet were always where they had to be to block and strike with perfect precision. Oz shook his head in wonder as he watched the two, Talon seemed to be everywhere at once but Caine... Caine seemed to be telepathic, and able to be only where he had to be.

"Who is the girl?"

"I do not know, Master."

Bon Bon Hai stared at the security camera feed with growing anxiety. The Shamballa Master was trouble enough, but the girl who had joined with him appeared lethal. "Kill her."

"Yes, Master." The man bowed and backed out of the room.

Thugs lay scattered across the floor like cards from an overturned poker table, leaving the group of intruders all standing tall as they walked toward the cage that held over a hundred abducted victims for the Tong's slavery ring.

As they approached the large caged in area a lone figure stepped out of the shadows, and glared solemnly at Caine.

Kwai Chang Caine stepped forward, "I am ready."

The figure grunted and shook his head, lifting his hand and pointing toward Talon. "Her."

Talon raised an eyebrow, "What?"

"He is challenging you to personal combat." Caine said calmly, "You do not have to accept."

Talon smiled, "Accepted, with pleasure."

Caine sighed and stepped back, "This is Tseng Li. He is the chief enforcer for Bon Bon Hai, you would be wise not to underestimate him."

Talon just shrugged and smiled, "No problem."

Caine shook his head and stepped back.

"Pop, you can't let her do this."

"There can be no interference, Peter." Caine admonished. "The challenge was accepted."

"Pop, this is Canada..."

"Did you not tell me that this warehouse was legally Chinese territory?"

"You know what I mean!"

Caine shrugged, "This is tradition, Peter."

Kermit laid a hand on Peter's shoulder as he was about to protest further. "Let her fight, Pete."

Peter looked back at Kermit with an odd look, but caught the smile on the older man's lips and decided to wait and see. He turned his attention back to the fight.

Talon watched the man through slitted eyes, smirking as he made a show of bowing to her. "Come on, Slaver. Let's get this over with."

Tseng Li frowned and straightened up, "Do not be so flippant, child. There is a way to handle these matters."

"Yeah. You challenge me, I accept, I kick your ass, then I go after your boss."

Li took up a fighting stance, "Very well. If you will not respect custom, I must finish you without according you the honor of the ritual combat."

She looked bored, "Are you going to talk, or fight?"

"Very well."

Li approached slowly, his moving smoothly along the floor. Talon didn't wait, she charged and attacked with a crescent kick to his head. Li blocked easily, and dropped into a sweep that took her feet from under her.

Talon hit the floor hard, and Li followed through with an elbow strike that smashed her nose.

Peter Caine surged forward, only to be stopped by the deceptively strong arm of Oz. The boy looked at him and shook his head, "She's not finished."

Peter looked back and saw that Talon had already kipped to her feet and was smiling at the Chinese fighter.

"Nice hit."

Li's eyes were wide as he watched her nose heal itself. He frowned and shifted back to his combat stance. "Very well. This should prove... interesting."

"Oh you got that straight." Talon snarled as she leapt at him again.

Li intercepted her in mid lunge and shifted her momentum against her, driving her to the ground at his feet and holding her arm in a solid lock. Talon hissed in pain, but couldn't break the hold or reach around to strike back at her opponent.

Li's grin was wiped off his face when Talon voluntarily popped her shoulder out of its socket and used the extra distance that gave her to drive a hammer strike into his arm, forcing his nerves to jump and let her go. Talon stood up and backed away as the man held his arm in pain. She hissed in pain as she forced her shoulder back into place, then worked it around a full range of motion.

"What are you?" Li hissed as he got back into a stance.

Talon smiled, but didn't respond.

"Very well." This time Li struck out at her, striking Talon with a powerful forward kick that knocked her back several steps, then moved in again and jabbed out at her with a sharp right.

Talon ducked under the right, driving her own right fist into the fighters stomach, and then jumped up and kicked him in the face. Li staggered back, feeling blood run down his nose. He shook off the pain and nailed Talon with a reverse spin kick that drove her to the ground.

From her position on her knees, Talon kicked up and balanced on one hand as she delivered two sharp kicks to the man's face. She landed on her feet and sent a sharp punch into Li's jaw, finally knocking him out and ending the fight.

Talon stood over the fallen opponent, her lips pulled back in a disgusted smirk. "Slaver." She spat on the floor by his head and continued toward the caged in area that held the victims.

"Master, what do we do now?"

"Now? Now, we leave." Bon Bon Hai spat out as he turned and strode from the room.

"Come on, everyone, keep calm and stay behind those three men over there." Peter said as he pointed to Oz, Kermit, and his Father. "They'll guide you out, and keep you safe."

The occupants of the cage didn't have much to offer in the way of talk, they were far to anxious to get out of the warehouse. The group managed to keep them calm enough to get them onto the Toronto streets while Peter made a call to the Precinct.

"Ok, the police are on there way." He said to his father, Oz, and Talon. "You three get out of here... No point in getting caught up in any legal name calling the Chinese government might make."

"What about you?" Oz asked quietly.

"Don't worry. I've got twenty cops who are going to swear that I was with them at a pub downtown when the call came through." Peter grinned.

Oz smiled slightly, "Cool."

"Let us leave this place." Caine said, placing an arm behind Oz and Hannah and guiding them away.

Oz and Talon acceded to the gentle push and walked along with the Shamballa Master.

"Tonight, I think we will celebrate," Caine smiled, and then glanced at Oz, "and Tomorrow, we begin your training."

Oz blinked. "Cool."

Jan '00

Time had passed quickly for Oz under Caine's tutelage, long days spent meditating under the guidance of the Priest and long nights spent chained up even when the moon was far from full. Oz shuddered inwardly as he realized what he had given up in exchange for that which he sought.

He looked up at the full moon above him, took a deep breath and gently fingered the amulet around his neck. It was true that he could now walk outside in the full moon and not worry about the change, or rather not worry anymore then usual. The moon had lost its sway on him completely. Now, though, that power had been turned over to a much less reliable trigger.


He swallowed and looked around the roof of the Dojo, then back up at the moon. He reached inwardly and let out the wolf.

Just a peek. Just a sliver of the true wolf-self that resided within.

But it was enough. The change was physically upon him in seconds and soon there was a full fledged were-wolf howling at the moon above. He didn't run though, didn't try to hunt or escape, didn't do any of that because he was still at his very core, Oz.

After the long stretched out howl he shifted back and flexed his fingers like claws as he examined his body.


He had never realized that it was a two edged blade before. He was now in control, the moon had no sway over him any longer, but that was only the light side of the coin. The dark side was that if he lost control, the moon could no longer cage him, tame him. He had taken the responsibility for his life, and the lives of countless others onto his shoulders. Oz shook inwardly with fear at the prospect of losing control.

"Hey wolfman."

Oz turned around, not so quickly to indicate the surprise he felt inside but quickly enough. He allowed a slight smile to form on his lips. "Hannah."

Hannah hopped up beside him and sat down cross-legged. "You love looking up at that moon, doncha?"

"I guess."

Hannah smiled and shook her head, "I can understand I guess... You never know what you'll miss until it's taken away."

Oz shook his head, "It's not that."

"Oh?" She smiled at him, "The what, pray tell, is it?"

"A symbol."

"Ah..." She breathed out slowly, "Yeah, I can get that too."

Oz nodded. "I know."

A long silence stole the minutes between them until finally, uncharacteristically, it was Oz who broke the quiet. "How was your day?"

Hannah growled. "I'm getting tired of this town. Petey-boy won't let me do squat on my own, and he keeps stopping me from going after that Bon Bon Hai creep."

Oz shrugged, "He's a cop."

"True," Hannah growled, "But I'm not."

Oz took a breath and considered his next words, "I've learned that you take what you can get. How many times have you saved people from the Tong?"

Hannah considered, but didn't know. "A few."

"Do you think that taking down Hai will eliminate the Tong?"

Hannah rolled her eyes, "Not likely."

Oz shrugged, "The let Peter worry about the organization. You worry about saving lives."

Hannah nodded, a little reluctantly. "Maybe you're right... But I'm still getting tired of this town. It's too cold for my liking now."

Oz smiled, the wolf enjoyed the cold so he never really felt it the same way she did. "I'm going back to California soon."

Hannah didn't reply, she didn't know how to take that. Was it a statement? Or an invitation.

"I promised some friends that I would come back when I could."

<Probably a statement.> She thought.

"It feels like it's been longer then a few months..." Oz admitted, shifting his gaze from the moon to Hannah. "I don't know anymore..."

"Don't know what?"

"I..." Oz faltered, "I can't feel my goal anymore."

"Willow." Hannah replied. She knew all about Oz and his time in Sunnydale.

Oz nodded.

This time it was Hannah who broke the silence. "You still have to go back."

Oz nodded.

"Then it's settled."

Oz looked back up at the moon. "Want to come?"

"Huh?" Hannah asked, startled. She hadn't expected the invite.

"Want to come to California with me?"

Hannah smiled, then nodded. "Sure."


Hannah shivered as a cold breeze swept over the roof. "You can say that again."

Caine looked at his young student, and smiled slightly. "Are you certain?"

Oz nodded.

Caine returned the nod with a slight smile.

Peter watched as the two of them just stared at each other for a few minutes, only the barest changes in their expressions evident. Finally he had enough. "Would you two cut that OUT!"

Caine shrugged apologetically at Oz, who merely smiled and rolled his eyes.

"I hate it when you do that!" Peter muttered, "Damn it, can't you just talk like everyone else?"

"Speech often masks more then it communicates." Caine frowned.

"Yeah, yeah, I remember this part..." Peter growled, "It's still frustrating to watch you two do that. What do you 'communicate' when you do that anyway?"

"Mostly we tell jokes about you." Oz deadpanned.


Oz smiled slightly. "Gotcha."

Caine chuckled while Peter just growled again. "I think my father's sense of humor is rubbing off on you."

Oz stopped and seemed to consider for a second, "maybe..."

Peter rolled his eyes at the unflappable way the boy took anything he said.

Caine interrupted the repartee, such as it was. "You have learned all that you need, Oz. Though perhaps not all that you would be well to know."

Oz nodded and bowed his head slightly, "Thank you for your time and patience, Master Caine."

Caine took the thanks with calm acceptance, "I think that the patience was as much yours as it was mine." Then he shot a sly glance at Peter, "Which, I might add, was a refreshing change of pace."

Peter growled slightly, but grinned and shook his head.

"You are certain that now is your time to leave?"

Oz nodded.

Caine smiled, "Then it is. You will... keep in touch?"

"I will."

"Then go." Caine smiled, "And remember..."

Hannah interrupted, "Go to Chinatown, ask for Caine... he will help. Yadda yadda yadda."

Caine sighed. He hadn't succeeded in teaching her much of anything. "Not precisely what I was going to say, but close enough I suppose."

"Goodbye, Master Caine." Oz bowed slightly, then turned to leave.

"Goodbye Daniel Osborne, Goodbye Hannah Foster." The door closed, "And good luck my friends."

Peter stepped up beside his father, "You think the kid'll be ok?"

Caine sighed, "Eventually... yes. But he has much left to learn."

"Why didn't you keep him here?"

"Because, Peter, some lessons can only be taught by experience." Caine looked sad. "Usually those are the most painful of all."

The battered van, with the old motorcycle again parked in the back of it, headed south. They crossed the border at midnight and turned south west, en route for California. Both occupants were quiet, though for different reasons.

The End


Valid XHTML 1.1! Valid CSS!